I do not exaggerate in the least when I say this was absolutely the most awesome super-hero movie I have ever seen! Imagine the Captain America movie you always wanted to see, the Iron Man movie you always wanted to see, and the Avengers movie you always wanted to see rolled into a single two and a half hour film, and you will have a very good idea of what you get here! The Russo Brothers are the best hands that this film could have been left in, and I can hardly wait to see their upcoming 2-part Avengers: Infinity, which is pretty much guaranteed to be epic.
No movie is without flaws, but this one had, IMO, the most minimal flaws of any of the Marvel movies thus far, and not one of the Marvel films released to date has been a total suck-fest. This movie had more heroes in it by far than either of the two Avengers films helmed by Joss Whedon, yet not a single one of these characters were neglected by the script. Every actor shined in their respective roles! Moreover, problems with pacing were close to non-existent in this film, despite some that plagued Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Chadwick Boseman was an amazing Black Panther and Tom Holland gave us a great Spider-Man (a very worthy successor to both Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield! Nevertheless, I still want a film with the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man!). Both of them were given sufficient screen time to establish them as characters and to encourage a good emotional investment by the audience. Because of this film, their upcoming solo movies are all but guaranteed to be hits!
The conflict that split the Avengers into Team Captain America and Team Iron Man was very logical, and very, very heart-wrenching, leading to a finale that had both a huge emotional impact on me and also brought us a major and very tragic revelation about the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Let’s just say that nothing can ever be completely right between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark again once this revelation was made. The plot was well-delineated, and didn’t simply serve as a series of filler exposition designed to be nothing more than excuses to get the heroes fighting. Both sides had their view well represented, and no matter what team you side with ideologically, I think most viewers will end up sympathizing with both to some extent.
Team Captain America rushes towards the most epic super-hero battle featured on the big screen to date!
Also, not only does Robert Downey Jr. once again play a stellar and memorable Tony Stark, he was making no idle claim when he said in interviews that this film is pretty much “Iron Man 4” as much as it’s “Captain America 3.” Those clamoring for a fourth Iron Man film absolutely needs to see this one, as the personal life of Tony Stark is affected in major ways here and this is as much his film as it is Captain America’s. As for Chris Evans, he does another glorious job as the hero who wears and personifies Old Glory. Both complimented each other on screen as friends who felt forced to oppose the other based on their respective beliefs and principles going in the opposite direction. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the revelation which comes along towards the end of the movie results in a very heated and more than slightly brutal slug-fest between Iron Man on one side and Cap and Winter Soldier on the other for the awesome but tragic climactic sequence that no viewer with the capacity to feel emotion will soon forget.
Not only did we get what may well be the best special effects and action sequences of any super-hero film, but the script was absolutely stellar. This movie proves that it’s entirely possible to juggle numerous characters together and provide an unending number of spectacular action and effects sequences while also crafting a good, well-written, emotional story that is simultaneously issue-driven and character-driven. And as one may expect based on the previous two Captain America films, this one is filled with relevant political commentary that makes it an important movie for this time period. Future generations of historians, philosophers, and fanboys will have a veritable field day analyzing and deconstructing this film.And I totally cannot wait to see my friend and colleague Derrick Ferguson do so on his great movie review blog The Ferguson Theater
! (Update: he just did
! Woohoo! And his guest reviewer Sean E. Ali did his own great review
a week earlier! Another woohoo!)
Team Iron Man confronts the opposing camp. Friendships and even deeper relationships, along with the airport, are about to crumble with this rumble.
I should note that the version of Baron Zemo as the main villain in this film is a rather drastic re-interpretation of the classic foe from Captain America rogue’s gallery. His long career in the comic books always depicted Helmut Zemo as the brilliant but twisted son of Nazi scientist Baron Heinrich Zemo, who was second only to the Red Skull as Cap’s perennial nemesis during World War II. The degree of this change was comparable to how much the version of the Mandarin we got in Iron Man 3 was a dramatic departure from the comic book version of one of Mr. Stark’s greatest foes. However, as controversial as the re-imagining of the Mandarin was for the MCU, I think the change in Zemo was quite interesting, and this version was no less deadly and destructive to Cap’s life on all levels than the comic book version. Others may not agree with me, but I do not think this change will spoil the film for too many diehard Cap aficionados. Zemo’s influence has a direct bearing on what causes the Civil War in the MCU, and it was in no way forced or extraneous.
I won’t mention much about Crossbones here, except to say he does get a very good battle sequence against Cap and the Black Widow early in the film. I was slightly disappointed in how that battle concluded, but it does have a very significant part in setting the main event of the plot into motion. Considering what followed this sequence, however, I was more than willing to overlook that disappointment, as it’s totally overshadowed by the epic events and memorable character interactions that follow.
“Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, at your hearts — along with the rest of your viscera — out! I bet you guys didn’t even have a Captain America in your universes! Hah!”
I want to end this review by pointing out that the protracted battle sequence between the two opposing Avengers camps at the airport was the most incredible and entertaining battle you have ever seen in a super-hero film to date! Every member of both sides gets in some cool shots and accompanying one-liners, and you see practically everyone on each side slug it out solo for a moment with someone from the other side. As just the tip of the iceberg, we have sequences during the epic airport melee where Captain America goes one-on-one with Spider-Man; Hawkeye goes one-on-one with the Black Widow; the Black Panther gets in some mano-a-mano throwdowns with both Captain America and the Winter Soldier, etc. Not only that, but we also have group and tactically coordinated maneuvers between various sets of the combatants that rival the coolness and complexity you will see in the comic book pages! And just wait until you see what Ant-Man does! I don’t want to spoil it, but I shouted and cheered the moment I saw it! If you happen to see this film in a crowded theater, expect to hear the entire facility resonate with cheers and claps when this happens! (What occurs has been mentioned in speculation various places online already, but I’m still not going to spoil it here! Ha!!)
Things will never be the same again as the Winter Soldier’s sordid past catches up with him in a majorly tragic way.
Keep in mind that like past Marvel films by Marvel Studios, there are two important 30 second Easter Egg sequences after the main film ends; one in the middle of the end credits, the other immediately following the conclusion of the scroll. The second one sets up a certain eagerly awaited solo hero film, and is worth sitting the extra minutes for.
If you happen to be a fellow super-hero fan, by all means see this movie! Not in a few weeks, but ASAP!! This is the stuff that many comic book fans spent many hours dreaming about seeing “someday.” Thanks to Disney, Marvel Studios, and the Russo Brothers, that “someday” is NOW! It’s my strong opinion that this flick is more than worth paying to see on the big screen rather than waiting until it comes to video or pay-for-view, as many have suggested to me was the best option for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.